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2021 Fiesta Bowl to be played without fans due to COVID-19 concerns

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The 2021 PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will be played without fans in attendance.

The Fiesta Bowl Organization announced on Thursday that only immediate families of the teams participating in the game will be allowed to enter State Farm Stadium for the game on Jan. 2.

The decision was made based on recommendations from the Arizona Department of Health Services, as local jurisdictions “decided to not allow fans at this year’s game in efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19,” according to a press release.

“While we are disappointed that the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl will not have fans in the stadium to enjoy Bowl Season this year, we respect the decisions made by the local authorities,” executive director of the Fiesta Bowl Organization Mike Nealy said in the release.

“Our staff was incredibly diligent to put health and safety measures in place that earned the endorsement from the Governor’s Office for policies that aligned with recommendations for reducing COVID-19 transmission risk. Ultimately, we all need to do our part to ensure the health and safety of our community to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Prior to the announcement, the Fiesta Bowl Organization had worked with numerous health officials and experts across the state to create updated health and safety protocols that were designed to protect all those inside the stadium while maintaining the fan experience.

“We have been looking forward to delivering another first-class fan experience for the 50th Anniversary Fiesta Bowl,” Fiesta Bowl chairman of the board Patrick Barkley said in the release.

“We will welcome two fantastic teams to Arizona later this month and showcase our well-known hospitality to them, while putting together a game that millions of fans will watch live on ESPN.”

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